This is a philosophical exploration of the moral issues raised by the use of private military contractors in war. The presence of contractors on today's battlefields is without question one of the most significant developments in modern warfare. While many contractors perform relatively benign tasks on behalf of the military, controversy rages around those contractors who offer services that involve the use of armed force. The rise of the private military industry raises some difficult issues. For example, Jeremy Scahill, one of the industry's most vociferous critics, questions whether the outsourcing of military force is not 'a subversion of the very existence of the nation-state and of principles of sovereignty'. These questions are at essence philosophical challenges to the existence of the private military industry. In "Just Warriors, Inc.", philosopher and ethicist Deane-Peter Baker argues that, contrary to popular assumptions, a compelling moral and philosophical case can be made in favour of the ongoing utilization of the services that these 'private warriors' offer.
The book is a must-read for anyone interested in moving beyond the hyperbole and exploring in depth the real questions that should be asked about the privatisation of military force. "Think Now" is a new series of books which examines central contemporary social and political issues from a philosophical perspective. These books aim to be accessible, rather than overly technical, bringing philosophical rigour to modern questions which matter the most to us. Provocative yet engaging, the authors take a stand on political and cultural themes of interest to any intelligent reader.
Deane-Peter Baker is Deputy Head of the School of Philosophy and Ethics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He is co-editor of Private Military Companies: Ethics, Policies and Civil-Military Relations (Routledge, 2008) and has also written for the BBC's Focus on Africa magazine.
Preface; Introduction; 1. On Sheepdogs (or, the Warrior's Honor); 2. What the Heck is a Mercenary Anyway?; 3. The Private Warrior's Virtue; 4. The Right to Fight; 5. The Right to be Wrong; 6. Contracting and Delegation; 7. Command and Control; 8. The Responsibility to Protect; 9. Contractors to the Rescue; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.